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Thursday, 31 March 2022
Page: 1504


Dr ALY (Cowan) (15:59): If Australians need any more evidence that this tired, old, nine-year LNP government is out of touch, they need look no further than the Prime Minister's response to cost-of-living pressures: 'If you want rent relief, buy a house. Buy a house! If you can't afford the rent, buy a house!' People in Cowan can't even find a place to rent. Rents went up by $200, $300 and even $400 overnight, and the Prime Minister's response to them is, 'Buy a house.' Young Tina—I'm going to call her 'Tina'—from the electorate of Cowan came to see me. She's got a job, she works, and she shares a rental with a roommate, as I believe some people did when they were young. I know my son is in share housing. Personally, I've never shared with anyone, which is probably a good thing for a lot of other people! Tina's landlord raised the rent, doubled the rent, and they had two weeks to find another place. They had applied for over 150 rentals and they had not got a single one. That is the situation facing people in Cowan, and the Prime Minister tells them, 'Go buy a house.' That is right up there with the previous Prime Minister telling young people to get rich parents if they want to buy a house. If course, I'm paraphrasing there, but the point remains that this mob just simply doesn't get it. They simply don't get what cost-of-living pressures are, what they mean to the everyday lives of people—people in Cowan and people in other electorates, like the electorate of Lilley, like the electorate of Macquarie, even the electorates of Goldstein and Grey.

The cost-of-living pressures aren't something that goes away with a temporary sugar hit. They're actually a lot more substantive than that. And writ large in the budget delivered on Tuesday is that it is a budget designed to get a failing, flailing government through an election but not to get Australians through increased costs of living, stagnant real wages, mortgage stress, high costs of child care and, really, this faded—not fading but faded—dream of homeownership for many of our young people.

At the last election this government was full of promises to the people of Cowan. Among the promises made was a promise, a commitment, to fund a Wanneroo training hub, which this government argued would improve training, access to training, and jobs for young people in the northern suburbs. In the northern suburbs 65 per cent of people have to travel outside of the city of Wanneroo in order to get to work. Three budgets have come and gone and I'm still waiting for that promise to be realised. How does the government expect the people of Australia to believe them when they can't even deliver on their last election?

Let me read an email that I received today from a constituent. She writes: 'The budget fails to deliver on affordable housing and support for those struggling in our communities. No strategy to increase the numbers of affordable housing, no increase to pay levels and no increase to income support. The disaster payments won't even replace the food from people's cupboards and fridges. Winter is coming and people are living in parks and cars with no hope for the future. Just take a drive through Paloma Park in Marangaroo to see the tent that has been there for more than six months.' That was long before Russia invaded Ukraine, Member for Grey. The problems do not go away in this budget, and this budget does nothing to help. This was also sent to the member for Stirling. Why isn't he here to respond to these people in Cowan? (Time expired)